It has been a fantastically busy weekend, with the highlight being our Téléthon charity meal on Friday night. Téléthon is an annual event in France raising money for research, and to help the families of children with genetic conditions like muscular dystrophy. It is also an annual tradition for our village to host a meal and raffle with all proceeds going to the Téléthon appeal. This year things were run a little differently from previous years and I somehow found myself as one of the three organisors. My telephone number was on the posters, so I found myself having to take down names and numbers spelt out in rapid French over the phone. I also found myself attending meetings where I was expected to talk, listen, understand half a dozen conversations being simultaneously spoken in French and take notes for the minutes – all I can say is that my French neighbours must think my French is so much better than it actually is. All I wanted to do was peel some vegetables and help in the meal preparation like I have done in previous years and spend some time soaking up the fun, convivial atmosphere of an evening with good friends. Never mind, we made it, and our recently renovated village salles des fêtes was packed to capacity and the atmosphere was buzzing. The newly arrived retired chef from Lyon made himself at home in the new kitchen and in a flash, without a glimpse of stress, he rustled up a tasty spaghetti bolognaise for the volunteers who set the hall up on Wednesday (nothing is done in France without food), and a beef bourguignon for Friday night. I think the only thing that spooked him was the small army of village women bearing vegetable peelers and invading his space, but he’ll get used to that. I also have a feeling he spent the night in the kitchen as by the time we arrived on Saturday morning to prepare the brioche and mulled wine for the cyclothon that was pit stopping in the village, all was done and the smell of the wine was divine. Next year we have decided to join the cyclothon, a 50 km bike ride around the local area with numerous (like every 7 km) stops in villages ready to ply you with pastries and hot chocolate, coffee and biscuits, brioche and mulled wine, a three course lunch and afternoon snacks too – how much fun does that sound like! Although we haven’t quite worked out a final figure raised for Téléthon, our takings were over 1500€, which for a village of 350 we are very pleased with that.
Sunday was spent at a Christmas market held in a cold, but beautiful Abbaye, where we nibbled on raspberry macroons, drank yet more mulled wine and bought some Christmas presents too. Monday arrived with the shock of a 5.45am alarm, so Ade could make an early morning flight to London. With Ed out of the house by 7.45 I had plenty of time to plan my English conversation session at the local college, on a Christmas theme. Despite it being a great British tradition I decided not to take mulled wine, but I did make a batch of mince pies to share with the kids that went down well, as did a box of crackers complete with silly hats and naff gifts.
The best thing about today was the ‘me’ time where I treated myself to a back, neck and shoulder massage with essential oils, and it was bliss. A friend with a beauty treatment business had a work experience girl who needed bodies to practice on and all treatments were half price. The treatment room was beautifully scented, warm, with oak beams, high ceilings and relaxing music, just perfect to unwind and enjoy being pampered which I did.
Please don't forget there are still a couple of days left to enter my Susie Kelly giveaway see here.